Chlamydomonas reinhardtii tubulin-gene disruptants for efficient isolation of strains bearing tubulin mutations
The single-cell green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii possesses two α-tubulin genes (tua1 and tua2) and two β-tubulin genes (tub1 and tub2), with the two genes in each pair encoding identical amino acid sequences. Here, we screened an insertional library to establish eight disruptants with defective tua2, tub1, or tub2 expression. Most of the disruptants did not exhibit major defects in cell growth, flagellar length, or flagellar regeneration after amputation. Because few tubulin mutants of C.
... lin mutants of C. reinhardtii have been reported to date, we then used our disruptants, together with a tua1 disruptant obtained from the Chlamydomonas Library Project (CLiP), to isolate tubulin-mutants resistant to the anti-tubulin agents propyzamide (pronamide) or oryzalin. As a result of several trials, we obtained 8 strains bearing 7 different α-tubulin mutations and 12 strains bearing 7 different β-tubulin mutations. One of the mutations is at a residue similar to that of a mutation site known to confer drug resistance in human cancer cells. Some strains had the same amino acid substitutions as those reported previously in C. reinhardtii; however, the mutants with single tubulin genes showed slightly stronger drug-resistance than the previous mutants that express the mutated tubulin in addition to the wild-type tubulin. Such increased drug-resistance may have facilitated sensitive detection of tubulin mutation. Single-tubulin-gene disruptants are thus an efficient background of generating tubulin mutants for the study of the structure–function relationship of tubulin.